In fact, the statement made a couple of days ago, in which Russia blamed Germany for the impending deterioration of relations between the countries due to the situation with Navalny, had the status of a Foreign Ministry statement.
But since the diplomatic department does not issue statements that would not have been approved by its head, we can rightfully call Sergey Lavrov its co-author.
Moreover, I am absolutely sure that if Vladimir Putin did not edit this statement, at least he was familiar with its content and it also received the president’s approval. It’s too sharp.
On the one hand, it’s possible, of course, to recall the statements of the Foreign Ministry on the Skripal case and find similar passages there. But the fact is that in the Skripal case, we were dealing with the UK. This country has always taken a hostile position towards Russia. Economic ties between Moscow and London have never been strategic. Britain has always been a loyal ally of the US. Therefore, it was possible to warn Britain about the deterioration of relations completely freely — the British obviously sought to worsen them, and even if we assume that the operation with the Skripals failed, they would have come up with something else.
Germany is another matter. Moscow made many sacrifices, scrupulously and carefully building long-term strategic relations with Berlin. Cooperation in the energy sector has long developed into a general economic one, and the latter has started to develop into a political rapprochement, with a tendency to establish long-term alliance relations.
The tough position of Berlin government on Nord Stream 2, which led Germany to a confrontation with the US, the statement made by the German leadership of the inability of the US to ensure the security of Europe and its transition from the state of an economic partner to the status of a competitor – all of this and much more (including common Russian-German problems with Poland) testified to the great potential for the development of Russian-German relations. And here, suddenly, the always extremely cautious Moscow is putting the fruits of many years of work at stake, presenting to Berlin nothing more than an ultimatum: either evidence in the Navalny case, or a diplomatic conflict with serious consequences for economic and political partnership.
Why would that be?
To begin with, let me remind you that those who believed that Moscow would always be cautious and give in had several opportunities to see the fallacy of this view. The Kremlin knows how to choose the moment for a sharp and unexpected blow, as, for example, in August 2008 on Saakashvili (when the Georgian army was defeated, and the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was recognised) or in March 2014, when Crimea was returned to Russia.
It’s just that Russia takes a tough position only when it is absolutely sure of victory, and not like Trump, who frightened Kim Jong-un with aircraft carriers, and as a result was forced to negotiate on North Korean terms.
Germany was harshly, I would even say almost rudely, offered to think about an unpleasant future if it did not stop the bacchanalia with Navalny. Russia has demanded the transfer of the materials testifying about the poisoning of Navalny. This is a normal demand, because if there is an allegation of deliberate poisoning, it is necessary to conduct an investigation, and there are corresponding agreements on legal assistance between Moscow and Berlin.
Germany can provide tests, tissue samples, and everything that Russia demands. But I am afraid that in this case, the lie about Navalny’s poisoning with a military poison will be quickly exposed. Germany may refuse to transfer these materials, but then it will violate the existing agreements, and Russia, as the Foreign Ministry stated, will perceive Berlin’s actions as a deliberate provocation and take retaliatory measures. ...